LensCrafters v. Bachmann
April 13th, 2011
11:55 AM ET
7 years ago

LensCrafters v. Bachmann

Washington (CNN) - The optics don't look great for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. That is, if you're talking about her relationship with LensCrafters, the one-stop shop of eye care and eyewear.

The possible GOP presidential candidate supported her belief that Planned Parenthood should lose its government funding by telling a crowd in Iowa on Monday, "The executive director of Planned Parenthood in Illinois said they want to become the LensCrafter of big abortion in Illinois."

And it's not the first time Bachmann made the comparison. She made the same claim as early as September of 2008 and has stated that the comparison first came from a Planned Parenthood director in Illinois.

But what Steve Trombley, CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois, actually said is different than Bachmann's interpretation. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in June 2008, he stated, "I like to think of Planned Parenthood as the LensCrafters of family planning," while speaking of making family planning services more accessible.

Bachmann has been substituting the phrase "big abortion" for "family planning," but the eye care company has asked that she leave them out of her scuffle altogether.

LensCrafters hit back at Bachmann Tuesday, telling Roll Call, "She's using our name without our knowledge or permission." Julie Maslov, communications director for Luxottica Retail, the parent company for LensCrafters, said the company contacted Bachmann's office Tuesday and asked that she stop making the comparison.

Planned Parenthood also released a statement saying, "The continued misleading attacks on Planned Parenthood expose a cynical and coldhearted willingness to further a divisive political agenda even if it will deny women access to lifesaving cancer screenings and birth control."

A Bachmann spokesman confirmed that the three-term congresswoman would avoid using the company's name in the future.

LensCrafters has not responded to CNN's request for comment.

Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • Planned Parenthood
soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. JohnM


    So why isnt LensCrafter saying the same thing to Steve Trombley? Bachmann is only repeating what someone else has said which is stated in the article.

    April 13, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
    H-E-L-L-O that's the whole problem as usual she's not "repeating" she's making things up as usual. Like you she can't do multi-tasking like for instance read and comprehend.

    April 13, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. K3Citizen

    See what Palin started? Ever since she started making millions off of her fanatical Obama bashing, other clowns have decided it is their time to cash in. The problem I have with Bachman is that she is in Congress, yet she will openly sell herself out to make a buck. Americans can do without her self indulgence while most of our neighbors are out looking for jobs. She and Palin should hide their heads in the sand for what they've done to this country.

    April 13, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. Ferret out the B.S.

    The rights to terminate a pregnancy in a clean, sterile, medical environment was provided because too many women and their unborn children were getting butcherd by "back-room abortionists. Why would anyone in this country want to return to those times, that is shear lunacy.

    April 13, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. Bubba

    She's the Roto-Rooter™ of politics! She gets right down there in the septic tank with all the other floaters, and just vents the gas while she stirs the shift. Or maybe she's the Three Musketeers© of public speaking, all sugary and puffed up with air, or she could be the Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill© of voter loyalty, momentarily intoxicating but you know the next day it was a bad decision because your head hurts and you are vomiting. Wait, I've got it, she's the Plastic Dog Doody® of Conservatism: not really a sign that someone's done their business. You guys can jump in any time . . .

    April 13, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. john

    We need to be concerned about creating jobs and not planned parenthood, which the actually cost is small compared to other big ticket items, we are still at 10 to 20 percent unemployment, and that should be our collective priority. More workers, pay more taxes, lower the budget deficit.

    April 13, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. Rsprings

    Is this what you've got to complain about. Kind of short sighted of you lefties...find a serious issue to complain about not a silly analogy.
    But I think that if PP does not do abortions as much as Bachmann says just open the books to see what procedures are being done. Womens health is important..like that of a female fetus.

    April 13, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Anthony... proud tax payer

    I dont care if government money does go to abortions.
    There, I said it, and its how i feel.

    All the arguing in between is useless.

    I will let my single opinion speak for itself at the polls, and if i lose in a fair Democratic system, I will be adult enough to realize I cant have everything my way, and deal with the repercussions of living within this system.

    April 13, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Jon in Rochester NY

    Yes. The pro-lifers love the featus but hate the child. Once they are born, they are on their own. They don't want to pay for the baby's healthcare or welfare.

    April 13, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. PD.

    So, Crazy Michele stuck her foot in her mouth again, huh? What's in the water in Minnesota? Anyone who would vote for this lunatic must be under the influence of SOMETHING.

    April 13, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. Born Again, not Born Yesterday

    Bachmann lies . . . again! How is this newsworthy? The only people who care what she says are those who already believe likewise. She's not converting anyone, only annoying those of us who still have brains and a moral code. She's Caribou Barbie's even dumber sidekick.

    April 13, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Aeromechanic.

    The saddest part of all of this is that we will have 50% of the population totally convinced that the guy from Planned Parenthood actually said what Bachmann continually repeats.

    For the people on here making excuses for what she says and does, why not make the same excuses for any other politician who mispeaks?

    April 13, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. HeyEugene

    Until Bachman started yelling obscenely, didn't think the Repugnicants and Teapots had anyone more ignorant than Palin speaking for them. This woman is actually serving in an elected post which makes her potentially more damaging than Palin, if that's possible. If they'd been unattractive in appearance, neither of them would ever have been elected in the first place. GOP should stand for Grandly Obtuse Politics.

    April 13, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. carlos

    doug.....you are a complete imbecile, exactly from the same mold as all the repugnants

    April 13, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    Can't any of those weak, limp, impotent, republicans get this shrew back in her place (suckling babies).

    April 13, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. Monster Zero

    Which comes first, the chicken or the egg, teach the idiots that use abortion as birthcontrol how not to get knocked up first or continue to kill an innocent life? Abortion is an individuals decision whether right or wrong and that person will deal with it for a life time but tax dollars should not be funding it...I personally would be in support of providing mandatory birth control, vasectomies and tubal ligation for anyone wanting the federal handout, makes much more sense.

    April 13, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. Bob

    Liberals always say their for Women. You saw what they did to their fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton by picking someone with no experiance like Obama. After that they went after Palin and now Bachmann only because their Republicans. Yeah, they are for Women alright! lol

    April 13, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. XWngLady

    "The continued misleading attacks on Planned Parenthood expose a cynical and coldhearted willingness to further a divisive political agenda even if it will deny women access to lifesaving cancer screenings and birth control."

    Exactly. So much for compassionate conservatism. The word substitution is a willful mischaracterization and manipulation on Mrs. Bachmann's part. When will America make this looney-toon accountable for her lies?

    April 13, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. GI Joe

    3% of Planned Parenthood is helping with or counseling on abortions. The republicans are lying AGAIN and saying it's 90%. If they could win with the truth I'd respect them. As long as they BEAR FALSE WITNESS, I HATE THEM.

    April 13, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  19. CBR

    Ms. Bachmann along with other conservatives cannot look beyond the abortion issue. Planned Parenthood offers information about pregnancy. physical exams for those who cannot afford them and more. If they received federal money they must provide the government with documents about their expenditures. If you want to make links to programs and expenditures I could think up a few myself but they might now go over too well.

    Why does Ms. Bachmann think that women should allow men to tell them what they can and cannot do. I find that offensive. I am in charge of my body, my feelings, my knowledge, and my interpretations of information. She and others need to find another cause. Women do have rights and we should let others hear our voices loud and clear.

    April 13, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. capitola

    Reckless and tone deaf, like the rest of her wack job followers. I see that glazed over look in her eyes and I think of the Salem witch trials. She is a religious zealot and would happily burn people at the stake "for their own good".

    April 13, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  21. Indy

    Bachmann is always in lockstep with the devil and if she ever told the truth she would probably explode. When all you have it hate and lies to offer you will never get beyond your base and Bachmann is not going anywhere good anytime fast.

    April 13, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. Phil in KC

    Typical right-wing tactic: change the 'facts' to fit your agenda. Even if it's not true, if you repeat it enough, people will accept it as such. This woman is scary. She has no place in the national political arena. How the state that once gave us progressives like Hubert Humphrey could now be giving us Barbara Bachman is dumbfounding.

    April 13, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    ....and she wants to be president, but only for one term........she has been congresswoman for 2 terms, and has yet to reduce the size of government, as she has campaigned on since 2005....this folitician is all talk!....however, she can raise money, thus she has a lot of payback to do.

    April 13, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. Frank

    Sounds to me like the libs are already running scared of Michele with Their "unbiased" reporting. Give me a break.

    April 13, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    Why does this "folitician" seems to always exaggerate the truth?

    April 13, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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